Saturday, July 28, 2012

INFP/Autism Dating Curse



Building from the topic I started my last blog post, the INFP personality type is an uncommon type.  Only about four percent of the population has this personality type compared to the fifteen other types on the Myers-Briggs scale.  Even more interesting, the INFP type is more frequently found in women than men.

Therefore, since I am a male INFP, I have found myself subjected to gender stereotypes all throughout my life.  The American society expects men to be, for a lack of a better word, manly.  That is, men are expected to be decisive and assertive problem solvers.  In my case, I would much rather allow a conflict to happen passively than try to take action and do something about it and expose myself to more emotional pain than I would feel by doing nothing..  This is not something I do whole-heartedly; I am often at inner conflict about this aspect of myself.  

It also makes it very difficult to date.  I haven't had an official girlfriend in about five years.  It's been more than four years since I've even been on a date.  Both INFP and autistic individuals find dating to be very intimidating, the combined total has made my dating life miserable to experience and nostalgic to look back on.  Summoning the resolve to ask out a girl, who might say no, stretches my anxiety to the limit. This is not helped by the fact that in this society, men are expected to ask women out and not the other way around.  Much to my disadvantage.

To sum it all up, being a male INFP with autism in the world of dating makes me feel like a hairless cat being entered into a competitive dog show.  It is not easy by any means.  It's reached the point where it's more trouble than it's worth for me to force myself to approach girls.  I'm just living my life with the belief that the right woman will walk into my life and make the first move.  Other than that, I will continue to write my fantasy series without the fear of a family complicating my dream of becoming the next great writer.  It doesn't mean that I don't want a family, but it's sort of become a way for me to justify, both to others and to myself, exactly why I have such a hard time dating.

7 comments:

  1. I can totally identify with what you are saying as an INFP...I too have experienced incredible pain the dating world. I am a female INFP and can imagine just how much harder it is for a male INFP. The weird thing is, I would have thought being an extremely "feminine" INFP I would have had more success in the dating world than a male INFP but the truth is I have found that in our aggressive society ultra feminine INFPs (or at least myself) have experienced rejection...I have found that most American males seem to prefer the more confident personality types to my introverted, shy, timid, ultra feminine type. So hopefully this gives you the comfort of knowing you are not alone in your infpness feeling of feeling alone in the world :-) I have found that the only types attracted to my infp non-confrontational personality are the predator types...almost as if they can sense me in their scope miles away...I too have decided to give up the "actively seeking" status in life as it does get too painful as you mentioned...

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  2. Thanks, I appreciate that :) I probably have it more difficult than most INFP males because I am on the autism spectrum as well. I have found that many INFP characteristics coincide with many characteristics of high functioning autism. For example, both individuals with autism and individuals who are INFP are not very confident socially. In my last relationship five years ago, I was more focused on my autism as a cause of any relationship anxiety. Now I realize the autism anxiety combined with my INFP sensitivity was compounding to create a most unpleasant emotional experience in that relationship, in just about every attempt I have had to enter a relationship. I've tried to convince myself that I might be better off staying single to no avail. It's a paradox how I come across as socially awkward and lacking confidence and yet when it becomes clearly that I'm looking for a serious, long term relationship, a lot of girls have backed off. I've heard the phrase "I'm not ready for the kind of relationship you are" more than once in the past five years. It's an internal paradox that I have not yet come to terms with and a problem that, based off of past experience, will not be solved any time soon. I don't want it to sound like I am complaining but I have searched the web and I have not been able to find a resource that identifies the needs of an INFP on the autism spectrum. So I'm trying to share my own experiences to create one myself on my autism awareness blog. I seem to be experiencing the perfect storm in the world of dating: overweight INFP male with high functioning autism.

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  3. sorry it took me a day to respond, i didn't realize you had posted so i just checked and realized you had replied... i no what you mean about perfect storm in world of dating: me as an infp, female, i think with autistic type thoughts, ocd, and in a religious category that is pretty much a religious no-man's land. at one point i even created my own dating websites (one based on mbti - until i got notice that i was breaking some copyright thing) and another based on my religious grouping (which is like probably in the 0.000001% of the 0.0000001% of the population) :-) so i totally identify with what you are saying...kind of like it feels like it is an agaist the odds type of thing...i think it is really awesome that you have created this blog and i look forward to all your future entries :-) you should think of doing some youtube videos on this subject...for a while i had a channel on youtube (infpvlog) but got too shy about having it up so i took it down...but i remember mentioning in some of those videos how i felt like being an infp was a lot like being autistic...so maybe i am both (infp/autistic)? anyways, i totally am glad to find your blog! :-)

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  4. I recently came to know that I am INFP. I always taken as Unique by others. No one can understand my thoughts and feeling. if i try to help someone they take me as i m having some hidden motives to help them. but when i have found out about my personality, i am feeling much better, at least i am not alone in this cruel world. I am regretting that I'm INFP. i dont want to be so good person. i want to play games, i want to win politics in office. i want to enhance my career, i want to tell lie and i do not want to help other and i do not want to be a idealistic. people miss inter-prate my actions and thoughts. and INFP can not live in the corporate world. i fear relationships. i dont want to give my love to an undeserving person. i am pretty looking girls but unfortunately i don't have any boyfriend.

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  5. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Many people have to come to terms with the truth that the person they desire to be is often not who they really are. This can be hard for me as it is hard for all idealists. I hope you find the acceptance and understanding that you desire.

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  6. I am a female INFP, and I don't have much success in dating either. My last relationship ended in 2007. I've often wondered if there's something wrong with me. All my friends date tons of people and seem to have no trouble attracting people, while my own love life has been mostly a series of unrequited crushes. The guys I am interested in are never interested in me, and the ones that are interested in me are often way too pushy for my tastes. (So in other words, not every woman wants a pushy macho guy. I definitely don't!)
    I think there are quite a few women out there who would like an INFP man, but the might not show their interest because they are afraid of being rejected. Most people, male and female, like to feel like they have a fighting chance with a person they are interested in before they make a move or fall too hard.
    I don't know if you watch the show Criminal Minds, but there is a character on that show who is said to be somewhat autistic, and according to mbti enthusiasts, is an INTP or INFP. So, similar to how you describe yourself. And there are a ton of female viewers who have a giant crush on this character. ;)

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  7. I wanted to update this post and state that I was able to find love in 2013 through online dating. I'm getting married to the love of my life this summer. We've lived together since October 2014. Read the post up above and then read this comment. Understand that things can change for the better. For me it involved finding the right person at the right time. You will know it when you find it so don't settle for less.

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